September is for Teachers
Vanavil celebrated teacher’s day on the 5th of September, in memory of our first Vice-President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who was also a renowned teacher and philosopher. Many activities were arranged in Vanavil starting from poem recitation to the enactment of plays.
September also means exam time for the kids. Our school and the Puducherry school had first term exams in mid-September. The kuttipassangal were lucky enough to finish their exams quickly but the Puducherry exams stretched for over a week. Afterwards, however, they enjoyed term break in Vanavil with various co-curricular activities.
Two new teachers joined us during this month. Our Thalir Thulir teacher Murugammal went home on a maternity leave and we took a new teacher, Sivakama Sundari, to fill that position.
Also, we felt that our kids should have opportunity to engage in productive activity during the weekends. We hired a physical education teacher, Karthi, who will visit our campus on all Saturdays and Sundays and help our kids in sports and physical exercises.
Curriculum & Planning
We had an all staff meeting and monthly teachers meeting this month as well. The monthly teacher’s meeting is usually the last or second to last Saturday so that teachers in our outreach centers can also come and participate in the meeting. This month’s meeting was crucial from the perspective of teachers as it was the last teachers meeting of the first term. Teachers gave feedback about the overall academic performance of the school and made new plans and time tables for the upcoming term along with our school HM Ms. Baby Shalini.
Vanavil also attended the Tamil Nadu network of Alternative Schools Annual meeting held in the CREA-Matriculation School, Trichy. It’s a platform where people from various alternative schools in the state come and discuss the issues that they face and plan for the future. Our membership in this network helps us in mutual cooperation and exchange of ideas.
Art, Crafts, and Festivals
Around thirty Vanavillers were lucky enough to be part of the 9th National Children’s Theatre Festival held in Trivandrum on 26th September. Our kids staged a play called the “River of Butterflies” which deals with the theme of ‘conservation of rivers’. The play was directed by Vijayakumar Thanjavur.
We conducted a one-week long workshop on handicrafts for our kids and teachers by the end of September. It was led by Ms. Rukmani and the materials made by our kids during this camp was sold in this year’s Sevamela held in Chennai. The event was attended by more than 70 organizations which works on issues of health, education, elderly care, domestic violence etc. It was covered in The Hindu newspaper and we were able to raise more than Rs.60000 by selling those products. This was conducted in addition to the Milaap campaign we held online to raise funds for the Deepavali celebrations in October.
We also plan to provide a delicious and sumptuous meal during this year’s Deepavali celebrations on 18th of October.
Donor Thank You’s!
Thanks to Saminathan and Jinu Abraham, our kids enjoyed eating chicken biriyani on two days of this month.
We are also looking for donors to support us for purchasing the batteries needed for our power backup system in the computer lab. It would cost around forty thousand rupees. We have a powerful inverter but then the batteries are out of warranty period and not being in a repairable condition, our systems are vulnerable to hardware issues.
We are now in a position to receive funds from overseas countries as our FCRA license got renewed after a long delay.
Projects & Outreach
During this month, our Coordinator and Program manager conducted home visits in our outreach center locations in Neelappaadi, Porakudi and Vanjur. The idea was to talk to the parents, get their ideas in improving our centers and also to build a relationship with them. The feedback was wonderful in the sense most parents were happy about the center functioning and also about the way our teachers work. They have also promised to render full support to us in the future.
Finally, to update you on the current status of our newly constructing kitchen and staffroom, the plastering work of both rooms are currently under progress. We also got a shipment of kitchen equipment from the supplier in Chennai earlier this month. Our kitchen is going to be hi-tech, hopefully before the rainy season this year.